“Come at me 2017” Marathon Training Part 10

“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark, at the end of a storm, there’s a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark”

Being a Liverpool fan it’s no surprise I love that song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Jerry and the Pacemakers. Celtic use it too, but it was at a Liverpool game where Jerry himself heard it being sung and said it brought a tear to his eye.

There’s great meaning in that opening line. I take a lot from it.

GOOD POINTS: I am absolutely loving running, despite a bit of stiffness and soreness returning. My trousers are starting to get loose, and I’m feeling highly motivated to improve.

BAD POINTS: I still don’t really understand diet. Protein, Carbs, Fat. What to eat and what not to eat. Why were we not taught this in school in my day? In saying that my food habits are so improved since I started it’s not even funny. Also, I’m sure many of you seen my wee court appearance last week where I was fined for being on the phone while driving, it’s embarrassing, but the way I see it, I learned a lesson, a lot of us are guilty of answering the phone when driving, I’m no different from anybody else. Oh, it’s worth noting, my original notice never arrived in the post, first I knew was a summons arriving at the house. I was feckin sick. Looks bad for a councillor or whatever, but Jesus, I’m human, get over it.


Note: Cian Madden is responsible for the feature image, this us how he imagines I look on my frequent trips to the beach!


Valentine Muckfest

I am putting up a completely separate post about the muckfest in February. It’s on my list of goals and I am really looking forward to it. Please keep an eye out for the post which will be just above this one on the Scoops home page.


The Meaning in You’ll Never Walk Alone

2016 was the greatest dick-head of a year, not because of celebrities dying (but wasn’t that mad!?) but despite my efforts, I was constantly chasing my own tail, hiding things from people, even lying about small, seemingly insignificant details. I mean the most trivial of things. For example if I was having a hard time (Pity about you Brian!) I could have stayed in bed till 11 or 12, just being by myself, not answering the phone, shutting people out. Not in a depressive way, I don’t think, just in a, head space kind of way, but I’d be terrified to admit this to someone for fear of being accused of being lazy.

People mistake this for laziness I reckon and while I flirt with laziness occasionally I’d say most often it relates to motivation and a bit of depression.


Anyway 2016 was a bitch, a horrible pest of a year. If you take that first line of the song above, “when you walk through a storm” well 2016 was a storm, of sorts, but now that I’m training, feeling better about myself, about life, I can see a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark hopefully isn’t too far away.

I know that’s extremely simplistic, but isn’t that the way life is lads? It’s only as complicated as we make it on ourselves.

We’ve got to walk on, through the wind, walk on, through the rain, our dreams will be tossed and blown but walk on lads, the journey will be worth it.

(What sort of shite is Brian talking lads?… Think that if you will, but this is what works for me, if you don’t have something that works for you, don’t dog me until you do.)

Training of Late

Due to my lack of updates you might think I’ve knocked training on the head, but that is certainly not the case. I’m running and soccer training regularly.

I’m starting to really love the running. I probably need to get the legs loosened up again with the could dry needles but it’s not stopping me at the moment so I keep putting that off. Must give Paul Kelly from Back in Line a call.

I’ve been way too caught up and way too afraid of doing anymore than 5km in a run. This is because I was seeing such improvements in my 5km times I wanted to keep beating it. Problem is, I haven’t beaten 30mins 20secs since before Christmas but what I am doing is running the first 4km feeling good and I’m able to sprint (my sprint!) the last kilometre.

This image is from one of my runs where I was just delighted to get every lap under seven minutes.


I think it’s time to up the distance, maybe to 8 or 10km and see how I go.

I’ve been out running with a few people. Trevor O’Donoghue my big bro, who is flying it at the training and running and I also want to give a shout out to his wife Diane who has run her first two 5km ever in the last week. This is a woman who never did a class of PE in school and has never trained for anything in terms of physical activity. She is absolutely flying it and it’s great to see. Well done Di, I’ll be over for dinner one of the evenings!

I sort of joined up for a run with Melissa Broderick one night too, but she was doing some kind of tempo runs (she’s seriously fast and fit) so our paths didn’t really cross. I need to get more foam rolling and general stretching into my daily routines but it’s something you can easily overlook despite its importance.


I used to believe I hated running with people. Everybody was fitter and faster and better than me. However, I now really enjoy having company and even if the person is miles ahead, it’s just great to have someone to talk to or meet up with. You feel you have to perform that much better as well. Used to believe that I couldn’t run without music either, but now I know I can do it easily without.

This is an invitation to you, if our time allows, to come for a run or a walk with me, if you like! Just get in touch.


The Fitbit is great. Revolutionary. When I first wore the Fitbit on the 30th of December I had a resting heart rate of 96. In less than 30 days, with decent diet, very little alcohol, and lots of walking, running, exercise my resting heart rate is down in the early 60’s. This is a colossal difference and something I wouldn’t even have paid attention to before I had the Fitbit.

It’s only now I realise how much pressure my heart must have been under when I was at my most unhealthy. I mean the days of three or four takeaway days in a row and zero exercise, Jesus, without being dramatic, I was on the way to an early grave, it’s very simple.

My Advice to You

Lads, if you’re feeling lousy, fat, unhealthy, unfit, whatever the negative vibe, just set yourself a very short term goal. For one week just have no takeaways, no alcohol and go for a walk twice. You can still have chocolate and snacks, don’t make too dramatic a change just yet. But I guarantee you, you’ll feel better after the week.

I’m so angry with myself for getting into the state I was in in 2016. I know, and I’ve said it before that I took too much on and eventually I reached breaking point, but there is no excuse for someone like me be 19 stone weight. No excuse.

Dealing With Bereavement

My dad passed away in 2008 and my mam passed away in 2012. After both of these horrific events I put on weight. Now, after dad I was in college and playing less football and after mam I just didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I am convinced though that part of my dealing with bereavement was weight gain. Comfort eating, whatever you want to call it, bad choices, self harm really.

Is that a controversial thing to say? That eating till it hurts and refusing to exercise is a form self harm, I think it’s in that realm. I hope those who are educated in the field won’t take exception to that point.

After my mam passed away I did two things that stand out apart from increased eating! I went to a bereavement councillor, not that I was particularly down or depressed but it was recommended so I went along and he was absolutely brilliant for me. Wonderful. I can put you in touch with him if you wish, he helped me realise an awful lot about myself, things that I had forgotten in the last 18 months, but that I am using again now and it’s great!

Going back to my point about walking through a storm. I think the two bereavements in my family were separate storms and they are storms that will never blow over, but I will continue to walk on and deal with the wind and my dreams being tossed and blown. Every now and then there’s a golden sky and the ultimate goal is to hear the sweet silver song of the lark…